BENVENISTE DE PORTA


BENVENISTE DE PORTA
BENVENISTE DE PORTA (d. 1268), financial official in Aragon during the reign of James I, from Villafranca del Panadés. Benveniste dealt in grain and owned flour mills in Barcelona. In the 1250s and 1260s he served the crown as baile (bailiff) in Barcelona and elsewhere, such as Gerona, Perpignan, and Lérida. In exchange for the sums he lent to the king and his ministers, Benveniste received concessions on royal revenues in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. At one time, he provided the silver for the Barcelona mint. In 1264 his brother Astrug de Porta was accused of blaspheming Jesus during a religious discussion but, through Benveniste's influence, the sentence of banishment was commuted to a fine. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: F. de Bofarull y Sans, Los judíos en el territorio de Barcelona (1910); Neuman, Spain, index; Baer, Spain (1961), 146, 156. (Zvi Avneri)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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